executive onboarding

Onboarding mistakes you don’t have to make!

Christmas time was a good moment to think back about five years executive onboarding consultancy. Challenging onboarding assignments with a huge positive impact on performance and the organisation results.  Here’s the first 5 mistakes you do not have to make.

1. Role clarity
Many executives enter a position and find out after time there is mismatch between accountability, resources, tasks and authority. There is only one way out: open the debate immediately before you manoeuvre yourself into a position where you cannot deliver the results.  Act! Easy win #1

2. Picking the right strategy 
We find that a lot of executives just start working and are very keen to look good!  There is nothing wrong with looking good but are you doing the right things? Michael Watkins article about picking the right strategy is a brilliant framework to develop a successful onboarding strategy.

The application process is underutilised by many executives to work out a hypothesis around the transformation strategy.  But also, to work out role clarity.  Which key questions would you like to be answered during the application process?  Easy win #2.

3. Managing expectations
You need to understand the political and cultural fabric of the organisation and understand the business. Unfortunately, that is not enough. You need to understand also what is expected from you. And that goes beyond the list of targets. It is about the intangible results that were not communicated. Executive derailment is often caused by unclarity about expectations.

Accept that some key players are unconsciously incompetent what they expect from you. Make sure you read all the signals!  An outside professional can be very helpful to create transparency and provide you with options that have proven to be successful. Easy win #3.

4.  Reading the system
Your capability to read the system is vital.  It starts during the application process; the rest follows during the introduction meetings. Reflect on it every two days, keep notes, challenge your assumptions until you get a full comprehensive picture.  Find a sparring partner and become aware of your blind spots which will prevent you from developing a tunnel vision. Click here for easy win #4.  

5. Firm & Flexible
Your entering a new system and the system is determined not to have anything changed by you. Some of that resistance is fine, but not all. What boundaries must be respected at all cost? What are the must win battles? Don’t forget you are being tested if you deserve a licence to operate. Some of this is normal but your challenge is to see the wood from the trees and decide when to be firm and when to be flexible. Easy win #5.

In two weeks’ time, there will be more.  If you can’t wait: click here to  contact me by mail.   I wish you all a very happy and successful 2017!

Maarten Putz 

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